Daily Reflection – 3/2/2021
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and begged him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, `Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5: 21-43)
At first blush, today’s Gospel is a story of faith but it’s also much more.
It was faith that brought Jairus to his knees in front of Christ – and that faith raised his daughter back to life. It was faith that propelled the woman to touch Jesus’ cloak, and it was faith that cured her and gave her peace, after a dozen years of uncertainty and fear.
Jesus brings the woman out of isolation and into the family of faith. She belongs once again. Jesus brings the child to life and reinstates her in the family of life.
In both instances we see Jesus’ personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life. In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as he gives freely and wholly of himself to each person he meets.
There it is. The Gospel tells us of great faith and it also tells us of the love and mercy that Christ had and has for us.
. . . that Christ has for us. Believing that then raises the question of the mercy and love we exhibit in our life.
Many in our society wither in isolation. Standing in a crowd, living in a neighborhood, or even sitting in a pew, some are deeply lonely, touched by no one. Why? Many reasons can isolate. Among them might be a difference in language, education, social status, physical looks, age, health, race, marital situations, even religion. All or any of these factors can isolate a person from the living waters of human kindness and love.
We, as the living Christ in our world, are obligated to turn to these hurting ones and say the word of relationship … friend, neighbor, my sister, my brother in Christ. Isolation flees.
BUT that does not happen enough. Too often, we are oblivious to the pain of others. We can be alarmed by someone who looks very ill. Maybe we are at risk. Or they can look different from us. They may be Muslim and we wonder if we are safe. Or someone with a shaved head and tattoos. Are they suspicious in our minds because they cause fear? Or does some strange behavior or vocal sounds by a person with developmental disabilities or a profoundly deaf individual cause us to step back?
Or perhaps we are one of those who are isolated, whether self-imposed or situational. We may be the ones who thirst for relationships with others. We may be the one whose heart hasn’t been touched for years.
Many people are dying of thirst in our world today. Through the power of Jesus, life-giving water is available to all. Can we reach out to give another a drink? Can we reach out to receive the water of life ourselves? Faith is the wellspring of courage, courage to seek what is needed for life.
If we are followers of His Way, we MUST see with eyes of mercy and love and have faith to act in His name.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service to others.”
In Jesus, God has a way of transforming our dismissive laugher into tears of joy, our skepticism into speechless amazement. When this happens for us, as it did for a desperate, grieving father and a sick, ostracized woman, we know what it is to be made whole. The gospel is full of promises that become our own when we take Jesus seriously. Touch the gospel promises and take them to heart.